When those of us in this part of the world have in recent weeks been enjoying that rarest of meteorological occurrences,an actual summer,the 2013/14 snooker season has continued to find its feet crowning its two latest champions in Australia and Holland.
First we go to Bendigo where Marco Fu ended a six year drought.to claim his second ranking title and in the process break local hearts beating Neil Robertson 9-6 to lift the Australian Goldfields Open title.
Fu has always been a player who.when on form,is capable of beating anyone in the game but his problem has always been inconsistency.It would have been hard to believe when he reached the final of his first professional final,The Grand Prix in 1998 that he would only have two ranking titles to his name by now though he has also reached the semi's at the Crucible & the final of both the UK Championship and the Masters but thats where he has found himself. That said I read he has now reached a level of contentment in his private life and this victory could lead to more of the same as the season progresses.He may yet finish his career the kind of CV his talent deserves.
For Robertson this would have been a bitter disappointment as he would have dearly loved to have won a title on home soil and with the future of this tournament yet to be decided he may not get another chance to do so.
Whereas the future of snooker in Australia may be in doubt the same can certainly not be said about Holland,where the circuit returned to packed houses for the first tournament held there in over twenty years,this past weekends Rotterdam Open.
It's funny how quickly things can change in this game. When Ronnie claimed his fifth World title in May much was written and talked about how his standard was still of such a high level whereas it appeared the other two great players of this era,John Higgins and Mark Williams, had seemingly begun to go into irreversible decline.
Fast forward a couple of monthes and Higgins has already claimed the first EPTC in Bulgaria as well as finishing runner up in the Wuxi Classic and now Williams has claimed his first title since the 2011 German Masters beating Mark Selby 4-3 in the final to win the Rotterdam Open.
The green shoots of a recovery in form had been there in Bulgaria last month but here he seemed to step it up another level with at time a display of long potting and fearless break building that was reminiscent of ten years ago when he was an almost unstoppable force.Maybe this win was just the spark at 38 that Williams needed and it might yet spark a rich autumnal harvest in his career.
Away from the table last week we also got the news that India will be hosting its first ranking event this season when the Indian Open takes place in Delhi this October.This is great news as the profile of the sport in India has grown in recent years with the emergence of Pandkaj Advani and Aditya Mehta .Hopefully this will lead to even more people in India getting an appreciation for the game that did actually begin in that country.Certainly in Advani & Mehta the game could not have any finer ambassadors there.
Finally I like everyone else in the snooker world was delighted to hear the news in Friday that Ali Carter has got the all clear following his recent cancer scare and will return to action in time for the Shanghai Masters.Hopefully he can now put this behind him and get back to what he does best.